MacKenzie Bezos Joins Gates & Buffett 'The Giving Pledge', Sharing Half of Her New Fortune

Photographed by Norman Jean Roy

Photographed by Norman Jean Roy

There aren’t many solo images of MacKenzie Bezos out there. Even though the mom of four is a successful writers and played her own roll in the formation of Amazon, almost all images of MacKenzie include her husband Jeff Bezos.

Vogue US interviewed one of the world’s richest women in 2013 in advance of her “gripping new novel Traps”. The interview by Rebecca Johnson describes MacKenzie as a “bookish and she” girl who spent hours in her bedroom writing elaborate stories. She attended first Hotchkiss and then Princeton, a very deliberate choice that gave her access to writer Toni Morrison. One of America’s most important voices became Bezos’ mentor and called her in 2013 “one of the best students I’ve ever had in my creative-writing classes . . . really one of the best.” It was Morrison who made the all-important recommendation of Amanda “Binky” Urban as a literary agent.

Now that she’s divorced, Johnson’s Vogue interview is even more interesting, describing the couple as two very different people who have created a sensational marriage. Enough said on that topic — except that Money Magazine says that MacKenzie made the first move, asking Jeff to lunch.

Shown from left are the speakers at the Nov. 2018 Princeton ceremony dedicating Morrison Hall: MacKenzie Bezos, Class of 1992, who studied with Morrison; Morrison; Ruth Simmons, president of Prairie View A&M University who helped recruit Morrison to Princeton; and Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber. Photo by Nick Donnoli, Office of Communications

Shown from left are the speakers at the Nov. 2018 Princeton ceremony dedicating Morrison Hall: MacKenzie Bezos, Class of 1992, who studied with Morrison; Morrison; Ruth Simmons, president of Prairie View A&M University who helped recruit Morrison to Princeton; and Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber. Photo by Nick Donnoli, Office of Communications

MacKenzie Bezos made big news this week, taking an action very different from her ex-husband’s. Jeff Bezos is not known for his largess, his philanthropy or his civic activism. MacKenzie plans to live a different life. He was very outspoken about declining to sign the Giving Pledge, a commitment by billionaires to dedicate the majority of their wealth to giving back, The Giving Pledge was created by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett in 2010. Jeff Bezos joins them as three of America’s five richest people and the only one not to sign the Giving Pledge. Note that only 7 percent of the world’s billionaires have signed the Giving Pledge.

Mackenzie Bezos is not one of them, signing a pledge to give at least half of her $37 billion in assets to charity, writes ELLE US.

“We each come by the gifts we have to offer by an infinite series of influences and lucky breaks we can never fully understand. In addition to whatever assets life has nurtured in me, I have a disproportionate amount of money to share,” she said in her statement, obtained by Bloomberg News. “My approach to philanthropy will continue to be thoughtful. It will take time and effort and care. But I won’t wait. And I will keep at it until the safe is empty.”

It will be interesting to watch Ms.Bezos bloom in her own right., joining Laurene Powell Jobs and Melinda Gates as yet another woman with a seat at the big boys table.

Catholic Hierarchy Makes Seemingly Little Progress On Enhancing Role Of Women

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In 2007, Lucetta Scaraffia became the first female contributor to the Vatican’s daily newspaper ‘L’Osservatore Romano’. Soon she proposed the creation of a publication dedicated to women, an approved by Pope Benedict XVI.

“There are so many more women working within the church than there are men, doing interesting and intelligent things, but nobody knows about it,” Scaraffia says. “The magazine set out to give a voice to these women.”

Scaraffia didn’t disappoint — depending on one’s expectations. Early on she began to call out misogyny in the church. In March 2018, she produced an article exposing the servitude of nuns who work “for a pittance to cook and clean for clerics.”

“This created so much embarrassment and hostility in the Catholic hierarchy as the priests thought it was their right to have an unpaid nun serving them. They believe that women become nuns to serve them; it’s a mistaken belief but is very much rooted within the church,” says Scaraffia in a hard-hitting story by The Guardian. “Women become nuns because they have a vocation and want to help those who are suffering or fragile, not to serve priests.”

Scaraffia’s position as editor of ‘Women Church World’ hit the wall on March 26, 2019 when she sent a letter to Pope Francis, telling him “We are throwing in the towel.” After exposing the shocking sexual abuse of nuns and secret abortions paid for by priests, Scaraffia was done. Note, that the editor/professor also has many grievances against feminism, so listen to her and don’t make assumptions about her point of view on women. Scaraffia said that her 11-strong editorial team felt “surrounded by an atmosphere of distrust and progressive delegitimisation.” Church elders were attempting to gag them, she claimed. “A vital initiative has been reduced to silence and there has been a return to the antiquated and arid custom of choosing women considered trustworthy from on high, under the direct control of men.”

Scaraffia told the AP that the decision was taken after the new editor of L'Osservatore, Andrea Monda, told her earlier this year he would take over as editor. She said he reconsidered after the editorial board threatened to resign and the Catholic weeklies that distribute translations of "Women Church World" in France, Spain and Latin America, told her they would stop distributing.

"After the attempts to put us under control, came the indirect attempts to delegitimze us," she said, citing other women brought in to write for L'Osservatore "with an editorial line opposed to ours."

This story has a strong odor of the 2012 Vatican’s investigation into progressive American nuns. Factually speaking, on the subject of the Catholic Church and women, some things never change. Hope springs eternal, but patriarchal reality always smacks women in the face.

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Halima Aden Makes History As First Hijab + Burkini Wearing Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model

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AOC has followed and really promoted hijab-wearing model Halima Aden from her first arrival as a model. Aden also hails from Ilhan Omar's Mpls, Mn. 5th District. Halima has enjoyed tremendous support from none other than Carine Roitfeld herself, and she is just a total goddess and humanitarian. BTW, Halima won the Miss Minnesota USA beauty pageant wearing a hijab.

In her latest groundbreaking event, Halima Aden is a rookie in the new Sports Illustrated 2019 Swimwear issue, staying true to her commitment to wear a hijab or glam headress in all her fashion shoots and in the case of swimwear, to don a burkini.

Halima returned to Kakuma in Kenya last summer -- her refugee camp -- to give a very inspiring TEDX talk about her life in America. And she continues to travel back to Mpls very often, not actually moving away from her parental home.

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Halima is lensed for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue by Yu Tsai at Watamu Beach on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya. “I keep thinking [back] to six-year-old me who, in this same country, was in a refugee camp,” Halima said during her shoot. “So to grow up to live the American dream [and] to come back to Kenya and shoot for SI in the most beautiful parts of Kenya–I don’t think that’s a story that anybody could make up.”

“We believe beauty knows no boundaries,” said SI Swimsuit editor MJ Day. “I admire Halima, and I consider her an inspirational human for what she has decided to use her platform for and her work with Unicef as an ambassador. She is, in my opinion, one of the great beauties of our time, not only outside but inside. When we met, I was instantaneously taken by her intelligence, enthusiasm and authenticity.”

AOC finds Halima Aden to be an extraordinary young woman and a strong voice for young Muslim women. In these days of terrible strife in America and in the American women’s movement itself, Halima’s glorious spirit is a healing one, and goodness knows AOC is eager to jump into her lifeboat, so that we can all row forward together.

Halima Aden Model Archives @ AOC